Monday, February 23, 2015

Anonymity the enemy of Charity

We heard the most challenging Gospel on Ash Wednesday, traditionally the most challenging gospel of the year, on the very night we mark our foreheads with ashes, we're admonished not to do things just to be seen. Part of that gospel also encourages a tradition of anonymous almsgiving, "Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing".

Americans have gotten really good at anonymous almsgiving, our income tax structure actually supports it, from 501c3s that allow you to give without ever meeting the person you are giving to, to even the taxes themselves that go to big government programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, WIC, and food stamps.

The challenge however, is to actually see, meet, and understand the needs of the less fortunate. I put it forth that we can't do that anonymously, avoiding contact with those we give to. We need to get into the trenches and give back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Salafism- the deadly ancient form of Islam now more dangerous than the Muwahiddun

An article in the Atlantic, strangely bearing a dateline of next month, gives us a glimpse into the theology of ISIS- and how it differs strongly from the Muwahiddun of Al Qaida.

Salafism- literally the "Faith of our pious forefathers", by which they mean the army and generals of Mohammed, is very much the attempt to roll back 1400 years of Islamic history to a form of government and religion that hasn't existed since the 7th century A.D. While Al Qaida was aiming for this all along, nobody in Bin Laden's circle expected to see a new Caliph for several centuries.

Salafism, on the other hand, is a radical form of Sunni Islam which entered a branch of Al Qaida after bin Laden's death with the teachings of Zarqawi, that insists that many sins are really signs of apostasy- and that apostasy is worthy only of death:

Maqdisi wrote to his former pupil that he needed to exercise caution and “not issue sweeping proclamations of takfir” or “proclaim people to be apostates because of their sins.” The distinction between apostate and sinner may appear subtle, but it is a key point of contention between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. (The Islamic State claims that common Shiite practices, such as worship at the graves of imams and public self-flagellation, have no basis in the Koran or in the example of the Prophet.) That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. So too are the heads of state of every Muslim country, who have elevated man-made law above Sharia by running for office or enforcing laws not made by God.

Following takfiri doctrine, the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks. Muslim “apostates” are the most common victims. Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government. Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation. The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.

Of course, those Christians who fail to pay the tax are executed. Captured foreign soldiers are executed. Captured foreign citizens are attempted to be ransomed to add to the Caliph's wealth, and when such ransom is not forthcoming, are executed.

They rejoiced in taking the largely rural town of Dabiq, Syria- because they imagine that to be the very fields of Armageddon, and they want to be prepared when the Pope's Army comes to meet their forces, in a battle that supposedly the Prophet himself predicted they would win. My suggestion, if the Pope does raise up a new crusade, is to start in Libya, not Turkey, and shock the heck out of them by going counter clockwise around the Mediterranean.

One slightly positive note. I made much about the practice of Sola Jihad of the Muwahiddun, their insistence that Allah is the only ruler, and their strong theological resemblence to American Protestant Christian Fundamentalists. Out of fundamentalism, though, came the Dispensationalists, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Branch Davidians, and the Davidian Guard of the Westboro Baptists. So to with this new Caliph, we have a return to Offensive Jihadism, a primitive form of the Preemptive Strike of modern Nuclear War theory; where it is part of the duty of the Caliph to challenge the borders of his more secular, less Islamic neighbors.

That doesn't sound like good news until you realize the tactics of this "Caliph of Baghdad", al Baghdadi, are dictated by his understanding of the bloody 7th century expansion of Islam- and that means that for modern forces able to reason, his movements are entirely predictable; they are in fact quite able to be defended against should secular forces, Islamic or Christian, choose to do so. Which is also as predicted- for after the sack of Istanbul, it is predicted that a great anti-Christ will arise out of Shi'ite Iran, to kill off everybody in the Caliphate down to the last 5000 soldiers, who will hole up in Jerusalem before being destroyed.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Back to consent

Those caught up in the sexual revolution are always telling me oral consent is all that matters to make any sexual act licit.

Those who are believers in scientism are always telling me that anecdotal evidence is not to be trusted.

The problem is, these two groups often overlap. And what is oral consent other than anecdotal evidence? After all, an anecdote is a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature. And a claim of oral consent is most certainly interesting, but not particularly definitive.

This is why I have said that without written consent, such as a marriage license, one should stay abstinent. Anything else, is too risky.

The end result is if consent is not written, it is not consent. Thus sex should be restricted to situations where there are contingency plans.

Contingency plans like "In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, as long as we both shall live"

No Father wanting the best for his Daughter should accept anything less.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And with this, I have lost all the liberalism of my younger days

I can no longer say I am a Marxist of the Reinhard variety for this cardinal has now embraced heresy. And once again, it's the Jesuit magazine America calling for an end to the sacrament of Marriage as we know it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An Essay all Americans really need to read

Why is this not taught in high school?

You have until 2026.  The United States is reaching the end of this 250 year imperial cycle.

Catholic News World : Novena to St. Joseph Cupertino and Special Prayer for Exams - Patron of Students, Pilots and Disabled

Catholic News World : Novena to St. Joseph Cupertino and Special Prayer for Exams - Patron of Students, Pilots and Disabled:

I must learn more about St. Joseph Cupertino- I have a feeling he could be a powerful patron for me.

But I'd add something to the novena:

If, following the prayer on the first day of the Novena, you read aloud the material for your upcoming examination into an MP3 file, and then for the following eight days, you say the prayer then listen to the MP3 file, you will find that you will pass  your examination.
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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